United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is proceeding in this action pro se and in forma pauperis.
Although plaintiff is presently incarcerated, this action
does not challenge his conditions of confinement. This
proceeding was accordingly referred to this court by E.D.
Cal. R. (“Local Rule”) 302(c)(21).
federal IFP statute requires federal courts to dismiss a case
if the action is legally “frivolous or malicious,
” fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Plaintiff must assist the court in determining whether or not
the complaint is frivolous, by drafting the complaint so that
it complies with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
(“Fed. R. Civ. P.”). Under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, the complaint must contain (1) a
“short and plain statement” of the basis for
federal jurisdiction (that is, the reason the case is filed
in this court, rather than in a state court), (2) a short and
plain statement showing that plaintiff is entitled to relief
(that is, who harmed the plaintiff, and in what way), and (3)
a demand for the relief sought. Fed.R.Civ.P.
(“Rule”) 8(a). Plaintiff's claims must be set
forth simply, concisely and directly. Rule 8(d)(1).
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989). In reviewing a complaint under this
standard, the court will (1) accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint, unless they
are clearly baseless or fanciful, (2) construe those
allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and
(3) resolve all doubts in the plaintiff's favor. See
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327; Von Saher v. Norton Simon
Museum of Art at Pasadena, 592 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir.
2010), cert. denied, 564 U.S. 1037 (2011).
court applies the same rules of construction in determining
whether the complaint states a claim on which relief can be
granted. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)
(court must accept the allegations as true); Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974) (court must construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff).
Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972). However, the court need not accept as true
conclusory allegations, unreasonable inferences, or
unwarranted deductions of fact. Western Mining Council v.
Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981). A formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action does not
suffice to state a claim. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
state a claim on which relief may be granted, the plaintiff
must allege enough facts “to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
se litigant is entitled to notice of the deficiencies in the
complaint and an opportunity to amend, unless the
complaint's deficiencies could not be cured by amendment.
See Noll v. Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448
(9th Cir. 1987).
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
First Amended Complaint (“complaint”) names Joyce
Sampson as the sole defendant in this lawsuit. ECF No. 6 at
1. The complaint alleges causes of action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, 5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., and 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). ECF No. 6 at 1-2. These statutes are asserted
as the basis for federal question jurisdiction. Id.
alleges first that defendant is liable under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for the termination of plaintiff's disability
benefits, in the form of “rent and Food 4 Less
vouchers, ” by “the state's welfare
agency.” ECF No. 6 at 1. There are no supporting facts.
Id. In order to state a cognizable claim under
section 1983, plaintiff must allege a deprivation of federal
rights by a person acting under color of state law. West
v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Plaintiff's
complaint does not explain Joyce Sampson's role in the
alleged denial of benefits, or provide facts to show that she
was acting under color of state law. Moreover, § 1983
provides relief only for violations of federal
rights. Plaintiff does not identify any federal statute or
constitutional provision that has been violated by defendant.
He appears to complain about the denial of state welfare
and/or disability benefits, but he identifies no federal
right to such benefits and the undersigned is aware of none.
For these reasons, plaintiff's first cause of action
fails to state a claim.
second cause of action rests on the federal Administrative
Procedures Act, which governs the procedures of federal
administrative agencies. To the extent plaintiff is
challenging the termination of state and/or county services
and benefits, this federal law does not apply. The complaint
does not contain any facts which would suggest a violation of
5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., or which link Joyce Sampson to
any violation of that Act. Accordingly, plaintiff's
second cause of action fails to state a claim.
third cause of action relies on 42 U.S.C. § 405(g),
which provides for judicial review of the denial of federal
Social Security disability benefits by the Commissioner of
Social Security. There are no facts in the complaint to
indicate that plaintiff applied for and was denied federal
Social Security disability benefits. This statute does not
create a federal judicial review process for the denial of
state or county benefits. If plaintiff did pursue Social
Security benefits, and has received a final decision from the
Commissioner of Social Security finding that he is not
disabled, then he may bring a civil action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 405(g). In that case ...